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October 13, 2011

People of the Times

Pitt has named Everette James, associate vice chancellor for health policy and planning at the Schools of the Health Sciences, as the new director of its Health Policy Institute (HPI). James joined Pitt last year after serving as Pennsylvania’s 25th secretary of health.

James, who also holds a faculty appointment in the Graduate School of Pubic Health, has served in senior state and federal government policy-making roles and is recognized for his collaborative work formulating and successfully implementing health policy. He implemented Pennsylvania’s first statewide indoor smoking ban and the nation’s most comprehensive health care-associated infection law, and helped negotiate the passage of scope-of-practice expansions for nurses and physician and dental assistants.

Working with the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, James applied current childhood obesity research to update the nutrition and physical activity standards in the Pennsylvania School Code.

The Pitt Health Policy Institute brings together experts from across all health sciences to conduct health policy research and analysis on behalf of government agencies, businesses and the foundation community. HPI’s Governance Initiative holds educational programs for health care executives and hospital trustees on key regulatory and compliance issues. The focus of HPI’s research will be on informing public health policy — laws, regulations and decisions made by the three branches of government — through scientific analysis, research and policy recommendations.

James succeeds Beaufort Longest Jr., who has led HPI since its inception in 1980.

BeermenThe American Heart Association (AHA), Allegheny Division, has named Lee Beerman, a pediatric cardiologist at the School of Medicine and at Children’s Hospital, as the recipient of the 2012 Peter J. Safar Pulse of Pittsburgh Award.

Beerman, who also directs electrophysiology services and the pediatric arrhythmia program at Children’s, is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a former president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American College of Cardiology. He is president-elect of Children’s Hospital medical staff and current president of Children’s Alumni Association.

The Safar award recognizes outstanding leadership in the fight against heart attack and stroke. It is named in honor of the late Peter J. Safar, Distinguished Professor of Resuscitation Medicine at Pitt, who is known as “the father of CPR.”

ferranteRobert J. Ferrante, a faculty member in neurological surgery at the School of Medicine, has been chosen as the first recipient of the Leonard Gerson Distinguished Scholar Award, which is sponsored by the Department of Neurological Surgery.

Ferrante came to Pitt this summer from Harvard Medical School, bringing with him his translational program and 20 years of experience to augment ongoing research and clinical efforts in degenerative diseases of the brain, particularly amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He has led efforts to develop animal models of these complex conditions and to bring promising drug candidates to human trials.

The award was established by Sandy Gerson Snyder in memory of her father, who died from ALS complications.

Three School of Pharmacy faculty members have been recognized recently.

McGivneyMelissa McGivney of pharmacy and therapeutics was awarded the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association Pharmacist of the Year Award.

McGivney, who also is director of the community pharmacy residency program, focuses on the development of pharmacist patient care practices in the community.

Elaine R. Mebel, pharmacy management resident in pharmacy and therapeutics, was appointed to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Commission on Credentialing as the resident member for 2011-12. The ASHP Commission on Credentialing is responsible for the accreditation of pharmacy residencies and pharmacy technician training programs.

Mebel’s professional interests include regulatory affairs, pharmacy operations, transitions of care management and clinical services management.

rima_mohammad Rima A. Mohammad of pharmacy and therapeutics was elected as chair-elect of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy GI/Liver/Nutrition Practice and Research Network. She will serve a two-year term.

Mohammad, who also directs the  internal medicine pharmacy residency program and is a clinical pharmacist in internal medicine at UPMC, focuses her research on infectious disease, gastroenterology/hepatology and critical care.

Jim Earle, a senior administrator in the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, recently was named the 2011 Soccer Administrator of the Year by Blue Sombrero, an Atlanta-based provider for online registration and soccer club management services nationally.

Earle was recognized for his service as a soccer coach and president of the North Allegheny Soccer Club.

StoltzA photograph taken by Donna Stolz, a faculty member in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and associate director of the Center for Biologic Imaging, took second place in this year’s Nikon International Small World competition.


Blade of Grass 200X), confocal stack reconstruction, autofluorescence

Stolz’s entry is a magnified photograph of a blade of grass (Blade of Grass 200X), confocal stack reconstruction, autofluorescence).

Nikon has rewarded the world’s best photomicrographers for the last 30 years. Small World is a leading forum for showcasing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through a microscope.

Pitt Masters Rowing Club, a informal group of staff and faculty, this month had its first foray into competitive waters Oct. 1 in the Head of the Ohio regatta crew races.

Team members who competed were staff members Adam Bhuiyan of Computing Services and Systems Development; co-captain Carolyn Ferguson of anesthesiology; Anita Lieb of otolaryngology; Mark Burdsall, John Greeno and Amy Korb of Human Resources, and coxswain and co-captain Sherry Shrum of Public Affairs. Faculty rowers were Ray Burdett of rehabilitation science and technology and Kristen Jean Mertz of epidemiology.

The rowing club, which formed in summer 2010, finished in sixth place in its division at the Head of the Ohio race.

The club practices twice a week year-round in the Bellefield Hall 3rd floor crew room and, weather permitting, weekly on the water during the warmer months.

The club is looking for new members (; no experience is necessary to join.

Pitt took home several trophies Oct. 6 at the annual dinner honoring IABC/Pittsburgh Golden Triangle Award winners.

IABC/Pittsburgh is the regional chapter of IABC, the International Association of Business Communicators. The Golden Triangle Awards program recognizes excellence in communications management, skills and creativity in the western Pennsylvania region.

Awards include awards of excellence for the best entries and awards of honor for runners up.

In all, 66 winners were selected from 107 entries from across western Pennsylvania.

Pitt Golden Triangle Awards 2011 winners were:

Communication-Management Division:

• Special Events: “America’s Best Weekly,” Award of Honor; “The Shot Felt ’Round the World,” Award of Honor.

Communication-Skills Division:

• Web sites: PittLaw, Pitt’s UMC Web Team, Award of Excellence.

• Publications

— Magazines: Pitt Magazine, Award of Honor; Pitt Med, Award of Honor.

— Annual reports: “Blue, Gold & Black 2010,” Award of Excellence.

— Newspapers, tabloids and newsletters: Pitt Chronicle, Award of Excellence.

— Writing/news writing: “Power in Black and White,” Ervin Dyer, Award of Honor.

— Feature writing: Pitt Med, “Mars and Venus, Revisited,” Elaine Vitone, Award of Excellence.

Communication-Creative Division

• Publication design

— Magazines: Pitt Med, Elena Gialamas Cerri, Award of Honor; Pitt Engineer, Don Henderson, Award of Honor.

— Annual reports: “A Decade of Challenge: 2010 Report of Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg,” Marci Belchick, Award of Excellence; “Blue Gold & Black 2010,” Award of Honor; “2010 Office of Technology Management,” Award of Honor.

• Other graphic design

— Book and magazine covers: “A Decade of Challenge: 2010 Report of Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg,” Marci Belchick, Award of Excellence; “Blue Gold & Black 2010,” Marci Belchick, Award of Honor.

— Other: “America’s Best Weekly Invitation,” Marci Belchick, Award of Honor; “The Shot Felt ’Round the World Invitation,” Marci Belchick, Award of Honor.

— Interactive media design: Falk School, UMC Web Team, Award of Excellence.


The People of the Times column features recent news on faculty and staff, including awards and other honors, accomplishments and administrative appointments.

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